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Intimates Brand Knix raises $40M in latest funding round

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Joanna Griffiths, Founder & CEO of Knix, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's latest funding round and her plans for the company this year.

Video Transcript

JOANNA GRIFFITHS: Sure. Thanks so much for having us, and thanks for sharing our story. So Knix, we've taken a bit of a different approach in terms of being a direct to consumer brand in that we've been very, very capital efficient as a company and haven't taken on a ton of outside capital until this moment. So for us, this is really a line in the sand, where we are leaning into our growth. We're leaning into all of the fantastic momentum that we've been experiencing and building the next chapter of Knix and the next legacy intimate brand of our generation.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Tell us what that next chapter is.

JOANNA GRIFFITHS: Sure. So honestly, it's more of the same, which maybe sounds boring, but clearly, what we're doing is working. So it's bringing more products. We've been selling out of almost everything that we've launched over the past 12 months. And so, leaning into that momentum, more products, more retail stores, more compelling brand storytelling and brand campaigns, as well as scaling our virtual fit offering. We now do over 2,000 virtual video conference fits a month, and so leaning into that program as well, where we are constantly fully booked, and just better serving our customers.

ADAM SHAPIRO: But how do you find having switched to direct-to-consumer back in 2016, how did that give you an obvious advantage when we went through the disaster of 2020, but now as you go forward?

JOANNA GRIFFITHS: Yeah, I mean, I-- my heart really went out to everyone last year who had to make that quick pivot from being a wholesale brand or a retail-based brand to then being an online brand. Because I made that transition myself, as you mentioned, back in 2016. I pulled out of over 700 retail locations and pivoted to be 100% direct-to-consumer. And so I think that that really enabled us to have this direct line to our customers, to understand what makes them tick, to understand what they're looking for from a product standpoint.

And then because we had sold wholesale before and we had this B2B model, we also had great margins. And so those two things working in tandem has really allowed us to scale in a very effective manner, while still staying so true to our customers and really offering what it is that they want.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Also you have a reputation for tackling taboo topics. Why?

JOANNA GRIFFITHS: It's right at the heart of our brand mission. Honestly, like, we exist to empower our customers to be unapologetically free. And the only way to be unapologetic in who you are is to facilitate the conversations that a lot of people aren't willing to have. And so, yes, we love to talk about things like fertility, postpartum, mental health, body image, and really be at the forefront of facilitating those conversations and slowly deprogramming the BS that women have been fed for so long by so many brands and media publications and advertising. So we are really just trying to deprogram all of these negative messages that we've been told for such a long time.

ADAM SHAPIRO: The other thing is, you approach intimate apparel in a healthy way that we can talk about it as adults and that it's reinventing this intimate for every stage of life. I heard a wonderful expression that when you are one on one with your significant other, your wife, your husband, your partner, whomever that is, that it's a form of communication. And your product helps facilitate that. So what's coming next in that sphere?

JOANNA GRIFFITHS: Yeah, I mean, so we just launched a much larger swim collection. And we're leaning into momentum that we're seeing around loungewear and pajamas, getting into active. We have a sexier assortment on underway. Like, we are just listening to our customers and really catering to what they want to see us make next. And it's a pretty magical thing that happens when you actually listen and understand your customers and then go and design products designed for their lives. It really takes a lot of the guesswork out of fashion and the risk as well.